Abigail was a woman of beauty AND brains! She was the wife of Nabal (“Fool”), then became the wife of David when Nabal died (1Sam. 125). She became the mother of one of David’s sons.
I. David & Nabal (1Sam. 25:1-13)
– The Request (v.1-9)
David asked a wealthy man named Nabal to repay past kindness toward him by giving David’s men some provisions.
While David and his rugged rebels were on the run from King Saul, they acted as “constables” of the lands surrounding Jerusalem. They kept rustlers and sheep-stealers from the flocks of the people of Judea. In return, from time to time, they were compensated with food, water, and sometimes money.
– The Refusal (v.10-12)
Nabal sharply denied David’s request.
– The Retaliation (v.13)
David became angry and planned to punish Nabal for his arrogance.
II. David & Abigail (1Sam. 25:14-44)
– The Wise Woman (v.14-35)
Nabal’s servants told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, about the incident concerning David… and warned her that David was coming with judgment on his mind.
* Her Appeal to David (v.14-31)
Abigail prepared a large buffet off food, and rode out to meet David… pleading with him not to kill her husband.
Abigail stood between David and murder. While it may have been true that Nabal was an unlikable jerk, he probably didn’t deserve killing… and it wasn’t David’s place to make that call.
Abigail stood there… sensibly handling the tension, negotiating a settlement. Her speech to David is a great example of successful confrontation:
1) She deflected blame from Nabal to herself, which put David in the awkward position of taking “revenge” on a beautiful, defenseless woman.
2) She reminded David of God’s justice; David wouldn’t need to take revenge because God would do what was necessary.
3) She reminded David who he was. Why clutter his good conscience and reputation with a hasty act of violence against a fool like Nabal? Why smudge his pending record as king with his blemish on his record?
And, just like that, his fire was out.
We could all use an Abigail in our lives… someone who, through tact, and discretion, and grace… keeps us from doing something we would later regret. Some fights just aren’t worth it.
* Her Acceptance by David (v.32-35)
David thanked God for sending Abigail to him, and agreed not to harm Nabal.
– The Widowed Woman (v.36-38)
After a night of heavy drinking, Nabal was told by Abigail about the terrible danger he’d just avoided. When he heard how close he had been to death, he suffered a stroke. 10 days later, he died!
– The Wedded Woman (v.39-44)
Following Nabal’s death, David asked Abigail to become his wife… and she accepted. He saw what a valuable life-partner she could/would be… and she was a perfect help-mate for David!
– Her Captivity (1Sam. 30:1-5)
Abigail was kidnapped! She was held captive by the Amalekites… who else would be stupid enough to take David’s own wife hostage!
– Her Conquering Hero (1Sam. 30:8-10a,17,18)
David prayed… seeking the advice of godly advisers and seeking God’s will. When he was given the go-ahead to proceed, and the promise he would prevail, David led his men to recover the stolen property and those who had been taken… including Abigail.
I wonder if, when David & Abigail were finally re-united, she didn’t smile at David, who’d rescued her once again, and say, “What took you so long?”
You can read Abigail’s story in 1Samuel 25 & 30.